Digital Exhibits

Ralph Stackpole

Ralph Stackpole fresco at Sacramento City College

Ralph Stackpole fresco at Sacramento City College

In 1937, the Sacramento Junior College commissioned San Francisco artist Ralph Stackpole to paint a fresco in the Auditorium lobby.  The summer of 1937, Stackpole arrived at the campus to begin work on his fresco, a mural created by painting directly on freshly laid lime plaster using water and pigment.  The “Stackpole,”  fresco  showcased the New Deal’s Public Works Administration’s auditorium, depicting Sacramento Junior College staff enacting the frustrations and hardships of the Great Depression.  The artist recruited campus staff to pose for the figures that included a teacher talking to students about spherical trigonometry, valley farming and local government.  Various activities illustrate partnerships with farming, industry, commerce and the arts.